Conservationists have called on Birmingham City Council to stop the demolition of a fire-damaged Victorian barn which they claim could be restored and reused.
The council, which owns the vast building at Westminster Farm in Frankley, said it is beyond economic repair and wants to demolish it in preparation for housing development.
But the Victorian Society said the council has allowed the building to rot for three years since an arson attack left its roof completely burned out.
Society spokesman Tim Bridges said: “Although unlisted, the barn is a good example of a nineteenth century brick farm building and forms part of a group with the other buildings and the farmhouse.
“The Westminster Farm group is very much a model farm of the period with significant historic and landscape value in Frankley parish. Many such historic farm buildings have been lost in this part of Worcestershire.”
He said that although the council has allowed the building to deteriorate there is enough surviving to make repair and conversion possible.”
Although owned by Birmingham the barn is in a part of Frankley in Bromsgrove District. No planning permission is needed to demolish, only the method of demolition needs approval.
A Birmingham City Council spokesman argued that the building is of no architectural or historic merit and is one of a number of farm outbuildings on the site.
He said: “These outbuildings are currently only capable of being used for marginal low-value agricultural uses such as hay storage and cattle sheds.
“Several years ago the property was unfortunately targeted by arsonists, and the attack caused significant fire damage to the main barn, destroying it beyond economical repair leaving its demolition as the most viable option.”
He said that the site has been identified as suitable for residential development but that Bromsgrove Council had, until recently had a moratorium on residential development.
He added: “The moratorium has now been lifted and we are working with retained agents to develop a residential scheme in accordance with our original strategy, which will see the remaining buildings brought back into use.
“This ambition when realised will help support service delivery and transformation to help promote Birmingham as an attractive place to live and conduct business.”